In every successful organization, it’s the people behind the scenes who truly make the difference. Today, we’re excited to introduce you to one of those individuals who bring their unique talents and passion to our team. Meet Lou, a dedicated and enthusiastic member of our team here at Craft Theory.
Can you introduce yourself and share a bit about your background in crafting? What inspired your love for crafting and led you to work in a craft store?
Hello, I am Lou and I use they/them pronouns. I am a transplant here in the South Sound, originating from Chicago. I am a life long crafter and artist and I would consider myself a Jack of all trades, though my two main focuses are crochet and bookbinding. My love for crafting is mostly inspired by my mom who was always working on a project. Careerwise, I was looking for a change and wanted to get involved in a job that also inspired me creatively (Success!).
What is your role at Craft Theory, and what are your main responsibilities?
Here at Craft Theory I work at the Farmer’s Markets. I set up, work, and break down our tent at local farmer’s markets and maker’s markets. As the off season starts though, I am starting to transition to a more administrative role. I am learning to track and sort inventory, organizing work and storage spaces, as well as writing blogs. There may be a time in the near future that I can help assist and/or lead parties and classes.
What aspects of Craft Theory’s company culture attracted you the most? How would you describe the work environment and team dynamics?
I was immediately drawn to Craft Theory for two reasons: it’s a small business and it’s a craft store. I had only worked for big box stores in the past and I was growing wary of feeling like just a number. In my interview I immediately felt the difference as I was interviewed by the owner Meredith. I was able to tell that she was genuine and was very passionate about her shop. The work environment and team dynamic is also great. It’s a very small team but we all get along well and have a good time anytime we’re all together in the shop. One of my favorite things we do is Soup Thursday, where we all take turns making soup in a crock pot every week and we all take some home. It’s a fun team building experience and I also get some yummy soup at the end of the shift!
What are your favorite crafting mediums or techniques? Can you share some of your own crafting projects or creations that you’re particularly proud of?
I think my favorite medium is textiles. I love how intricate things can be, and I love the tactileness of the medium. I crochet, embroider, weave, and hand sew. I appreciate how it can blend with so many other mediums. My other passion is bookbinding, which is a fun one. It’s very versatile and I can switch up my methods in order to prevent boredom in the medium. I most often use an exposed binding method (coptic stitching) and enjoy making junk journals or sketchbooks for gifts.
Do you have any crafting tips or advice? What are some common mistakes or challenges that beginner crafters face, and how might you suggest overcoming them?
One of the big mistakes or challenges I often see, and even face myself, is starting small. I like all kinds of crafts, and going big and hard on a new craft once in a while is fun and good, but I had to learn that if I actually want to build my skills it means I have to practice, and usually, start simple. I tried bookbinding years ago, but because I was disappointed it didn't look professional, I quit. Which is silly, because you only get to professional levels by making more…also, I don’t necessarily want to be a professional, so why hold myself to that standard? My tip for beginners is truly just practice and be patient. It’s okay to make things you don’t like; it’s okay to make things that just go straight in the trash; it’s okay to make “bad” art. Start small and/or simple and just create to create, the rest will come in time.
Are there any upcoming events or promotions at the store that customers should know about? What message or encouragement would you like to offer to fellow craft enthusiasts?
Do you like Halloween?? If you do, I would definitely check out Craft Theory’s Halloween Party on October 28th! There are going to be two sessions: a kids’ friendly Halloween party from 1pm - 4pm and another adults only Halloween party from 6pm-10pm! There’s gonna be a bunch of different crafts and tons of good food and great people!
My final message for fellow crafters is to keep crafting! Or start crafting! Creating things is an important part of life and there are so many different ways to craft that I truly believe there’s something for everyone who wishes to create. If you’re still hesitant or looking for more of a craft community, I truly do recommend checking out Craft Theory for classes or our free “Chat & Crafts” every Tuesday at 5pm.
As we conclude our conversation with Lou, we’re reminded of the incredible talent and dedication that fuels Craft Theory’s growth. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Lou for sharing their experiences, wisdom, and passion with us. Stay tuned for more inspiring stories from the people who continue to shape our company’s bright future.